Make It Work For You: Twitter

Twitter. Silly name, serious business. Never before in history has a communication tool been so immediate, and easy to use. Everyone from heads of state  to music stars to film directors to local businesses use Twitter to reach an audience.

Once nothing more than the place where people posted the inane drudgery of their lives, the microblogging site has grown to be indispensable.  Here are the PmD Interactive top five tips to make Twitter work for you.

Top 5 Twitter Tips

5. Search Hashtags

How do you know when people are writing about your favorite topics on Twitter? Search hashtags! A hashtag is a keyword attached to a tweet, to classify it, preceded by the hash sign. Go to the Twitter search page and type your hashtag. You’ll see results of people using said keyword. This is how you can find interesting people tweeting about cats, Instagram, or cats of Instagram. Notice the little “Top / Live” toggle near the top of the results? Top will show you who’s making the most noise on a topic, and can be rather static. Live will show you live results. Use Twitter search to find interesting people to follow and converse with.

4. Use Lists

After you begin finding interesting people on Twitter, you’re going to want to pay attention to what they say. You can simply Follow their account, or you can organize them with Lists. A list is a way to keep all Local News, National News, and Cartoon Voice Actors organized, without having to follow them all. You then just open the list, and catch up with all the tweets from said people. This also helps keep your Following count low while increasing the potential for having a higher Follower count. You seem more like a worthy person to follow if you have a higher Follwer to Following ratio.

3. Follow up on ReTweets & Favorites

This our favorite Twitter tip. You can find quality people to interact with by seeing who interacts with quality Twitter content. Sounds confusing? See this tweet where we sung the praises of Opera Dragonfly. After that off-the-cuff remark went public, we got 45 retweets and 10 favorites. We thanked every retweeter and person who favorited it; We began conversations with them all. Many conversed back, and many followed us back. A person who favorites or retweets is likely to be a quality lead, one you would do well to nurture.

2. Use 3rd-Party Tools

Perhaps the most subjective of the tips. There are many great 3rd-party tools and web sites to get the best from Twitter. ManageFlitter is our go-to tool for keeping track of who follows us, which accounts are spam, and which are quiet/talkative. For visualizing hashtag activity we like Twitterfall. Just search a topic (you can set a location; search a List; exclude words), and then watch a neat cascade of tweets. You can pause the cascade, retweet, follow, reply, etc. There’s a nice presentation mode to hide everything except the tweets- perfect for conferences and the like.

1. Join The Conversation

A great way to generate more engagement is by butting into the conversation. Not in a rude way, of course. With finesse. For example; you might be following some big names in the tech world. Look at a tweet they’ve made, and see who has replied to it. Next, add your own thoughts to the conversation, mentioning the original replier. If the person who first replied to the big name took the time to do so, they’ll most likely take the time to reply to you, too. This builds engagement, conversation, and possibly conversions.

Like any social media endeavor, it might seem like a lot of work. Well, it is. You have to be consistent. You have to be passionate. You have to care about the brand you represent. If you care, it’ll be fun. If it’s fun, you’ll stick to it and be consistent. You’ll be putting the social in social media, and you’ll make Twitter work for you.

This post is part of our series on how to make social media work for you.